Cabbages To Victorian Houses: The Unique History Of Toronto's Cabbagetown Neighbourhood

"Times were tough in the area at a few different points."

Contributor

Walking through the Cabbagetown neighbourhood of Toronto for only a few minutes, it can quickly become apparent what sets this area apart from others in the city.

In this episode of Then&Now, Toronto Historian Morgan Cameron Ross looks back at the neighbourhood that has the "largest preserved continuous area of Victorian houses in North America."

Obtaining its monicker from the vegetable with the same name, as that's what was "grown in the front yards of the newly arrived Irish immigrants" explains Ross, the neighbourhood actually used to be much larger.

While the area now known as Cabbagetown extends east from Sherbourne Street to the Don River and can extend south of Wellesley Street as far as Shuter Street, it also used to include what is now the Regent Park neighbourhood, before the older buildings there were torn down and that area was developed as a public housing project.

And while Ross notes that "the area still struggles with vulnerable peoples" following the gentrification and resurgence that began in the 1970s, he goes on to say that "Cabbagetown has largely found a balance" and has "largely avoided towering condos and the likes that other Toronto neighbourhoods have found themselves with."

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